Gilbert, Arizona, is the site of new comics venture with familiar name
Nov. 24 opening announced with local comic creators
The address of the store is 2270 E. William Fields Road, Suite 108, Gilbert AZ 85295.
The SanTan Village online directory shows the Atomic Comics Gilbert store located next to Massage Envy, a short walk along the outdoor shopping plaza from Harkins Theatres. Hours are listed there as 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Sunday; the comic book store will be open those hours Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays.
Mike Malve, the former Atomic Comics chain’s original owner who has local business backers for the reboot, and Macerich representatives confirmed the location to Nerdvana.
Malve recently teased Valley comic book fans with interior demolition photos preparing the location and exterior shots, as did the official Atomic Comics Instagram and Facebook profiles.
After telling followers to expect an opening in time for the holiday shopping season, Malve on Nov. 1 announced a Nov. 24 opening and said it would be open seven days a week, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday though Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays. The store announced that opening day Nov. 24 would feature a “Local Comic Shop Day” celebration with area creators appearing for signings and sketches 4 to 6 p.m., with another creator event planned noon to 4 p.m. Nov. 27.
“What a great week to open, not only do we have a cool event planned for that day, it also leads into Black Friday and all of the holiday shopping bonanza,” Malve said in an email to Nerdvana.
Hints started dropping on the social media accounts as early as September; the Arizona Corporation Commission shows an LLC filing in August of this year under the names of Maricopa County residents Joe Furman and Scott Hagen.
Malve said Furman will be working side by side in the store with him. “He has a great passion and knowledge of geek culture and I’m excited to be working with him,” he added.
Atomic will also partner will ComicHub, an ecommerce platform for online sales via web and mobile app, and will ship to customers “anywhere,” Malve said.
The partners already are looking beyond Gilbert to possible future expansion elsewhere: “We have several locations in mind throughout Arizona,” Malve said. “We won’t be trying to take on the other stores down here, we want to be a part of the healthy and thriving geek community” in the Valley. “There are a lot of great comics stores out there, but we will be trying to push the envelope as always have by providing as many fun products as we can including comics, toys, statues, magic cards, Pokémon cards, board games, clothing, accessories, gifts, and anything else that is fun and geeky.”
Why Gilbert/SanTan Village? “It’s an untapped market in the Valley,” Malve said. “There’s nothing like Atomic Comics on the east side of town. We love being near movie theaters and SanTan Village had an amazing space that just so happens to be next to Harkins movie theater.”
A brief history of Atomic Comics …
Malve originally started Atomic Comics in 1988 as Bubba’s Comic Store in Phoenix. A year later, it moved to Mesa and changed its name to Atomic Comics. Additional stores followed at Phoenix’s Metrocenter, Chandler in the East Valley and Paradise Valley before the chain went bankrupt and closed in 2011, blaming its expansion, the troubled economy following the Great Recession and a Mesa storefront that was destroyed by a car five years earlier, sending patrons elsewhere during months of reconstruction.
The chain had a reputation nationwide for a knowledgeable staff as well as frequent promotions and popular events that would bring big-name industry talent to connect with fans in the Valley. Malve expertly used his industry connections in these efforts, as well as making sure the Atomic Comics brand was forever enshrined in the 2010 big-screen adaptation of the Mark Millar-John Romita Jr. title Kick-Ass.
Updated Nov. 1 with grand opening date, quotes and more details on location and business hours.
Atomic Comics Gilbert:
2270 E. William Fields Road, Suite 108